Product Type: Ubisoft PC games
Newest Review: ... from a whole list of different breeds, all cartoon like for the game. You are able to adopt absolutely loads of different dogs and name ... more
Perfect Petz for Days Full of Fun
Dogz 5 (PC)
Member Name: elfbwillow1
Dogz 5 (PC)
Advantages: A timeless game suitable for children (and adults) of all ages !
Although not a brand new game, first released in 2007, this game is timeless for little ones. One great thing with this game being a few years old is that you can pick it up for nearly nothing both in the shops and online. We found this game for £2.00 in the CEX shop, and Amazon has it for just a little bit more at £3.91. Either price is a great deal!
I was not sure whether it would be a game easy enough for my three year old even though Amazon states it is for three years plus (no age can be found on the game box itself), though she absolutely loves it and after being shown the different things you can do on the game, my daughter picked it up very quickly and was soon able to play the game alone and have a lot of fun with it. It depends, though, on whether your child has experience on a computer, though, to how fast they will pick it up. Myself and my husband have bought our daughter up learning about computers as we both work (and sometimes play!) on the computer and so our three year old has learnt early. It is not only about picking things up with this game, but also a good use of mouse control is needed.
Before I get on to the main part of this review, I will get the boring bits out of the way. With all games, there are minimum requirements needed. With some games, older computers just will not run them, so do look carefully at the specifications before purchasing to avoid disappointment;
Operating system: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP (although Vista is not stated on the box, it works fine on our computer which has Vista installed).
CPU Type and Speed: Pentium II 400 MMX or equivalent.
Hard Drive Space: 600MB
CD-Rom Speed: 4x or faster
Audio: Any 100% DirectX 8.1 compatible soundcard
Graphics: Any 4MB DirectX 8.1 compatible graphics card (1024x768x256 or higher)
With that out of the way, let me take you into the game!
Dogz games have been going for a good many years though this is the first time that more has been included within the package with regards to upgraded activities and such.
Dogz is a simple game where you are able to adopt virtual dogs, care for them, feed them, play with them and watch them grow all on your computer so no need to go out in the rain to take them for walks! You are even able to dress your dogz with a variety of different clothing and accessories and watch how they grow from puppies into adult dogs, fall in love and have their own little puppies!
One good thing about this 5th edition of this game is that it is backwards compatible which means that you are able to bring your other Dogz from previous games and continue the fun with them in this one. You are also able to bring cats from Catz5 into the game so they are all able to play together. We do not own Catz so unfortunately I can not comment more on this feature.
Setting up the game is simple. It is literally a pop-in and play game, following some simple instructions to load it on the computer which takes next to no time at all, and then you are ready to start.
There are 15 breeds of dogs to choose from, both male and female from Poodle to Great Dane. The dogs all have a cartoon look about them, though nothing too out there so children can really believe these dogs are real! Once you have adopted a dog or four, you are able to take them to approximately 14 different ready made play scenes from a living room to a haunted castle. Within all these play scenes, there are a variety of different activities in which you are able to play with your dogs. These activities vary from teaching and training your pup with such things as circus tricks and sledging to five mini games which are designed for the child to play without the use of their pup. Through the mini games, you are able to win more toys and rewards to add to your already full up cupboards of toys, food, flower seeds and so much more. All of these items are able to be put both in the carry case to take from one scene to another as well as 'decorating' your scenes by putting clocks on the walls, food in the fridge and so forth. There is also a camera option to enable you to take photos of your dogs. Although there is not a huge amount of interactive items in each scene, there is certainly plenty to amuse my three year old, and even she finds things that I did not even know worked!
If you find that the ready made scenes become boring for any reason, or you just want to try out your creative side, there is a scene editor in which you are able to import photos and images, set levels and so much more to create your very own scene. Also included on this game is a web fun pack which takes you to clip-art, animations and backgrounds to add to your special scenes. Although I have tried this, my daughter has not looked at this yet as this is certainly something for older children or adults to do as it is a little complex for young three year olds!
Children learn in a roundabout way how to look after and care for an animal, even if it is a virtual one. My daughter has been asking for a real dog for quite a while now, though since getting her this game, she has asked for a real one much less! And it is not just a game for children either! I have found myself occasionally going on and making up my own dogs, watching them grow and enjoying mixing the dogs to create new breed puppies!
Although the game is a simple one, the graphics are really good for children. There is a lot of detail included in the different scenes and it is easy to believe that these dogs are actually real and shrunk to fit on the computer screen! The interaction is smooth and well thought out and the whole game play runs perfectly. Even without your constant interaction with the dogs, they continue to play and interact with things without you and so makes for great and funny viewing for the child when they are too tired to do much with their dogs! There is minimal music on this game though the sound of the dogs and their surroundings make up for this. Quite often I have walked into an empty room to the sound of the dogs whimpering because my daughter has taken all their food away and gone off to play something else! The sound can obviously be turned off, though it is by no means annoying, and certain sounds such as the beach scene sound of the waves can actually be quite relaxing!
For such a little price paid, this game is amazing! Yes, it is nothing really new and has been going a number of years now, but my daughter loves it. She has a few computer games and knows her way around a computer and how to use a mouse and such and so has picked this game up well and plays on it practically every single day! She interacts with the dogs not only via mouse clicks, but quite often we hear her talking to her pets, laughing and generally having a lot of fun with them. It is not perhaps an overly educational game, though it does teach the child how to care for a virtual pet as well as enhancing their computer abilities which is always a good thing in this day and age.
I fully recommend this game to all children age three and above (as long as they have some computer ability, though if not, this game will teach them that). It is not just a game for young children either, children and adult of all ages will find something they love about this game and for such a little retail price, you really can not go wrong!
Summary: A great timeless game for young and old alike
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